Tuesday, September 14, 2010

How do you find time for your writing hobby???




When I worked outside the home, no one ever asked me, "How do you find time to work and clean your house?" "How do you find time to work and take care of your kids?", but now that I write, I can't tell you how many times I get asked how I find the time to write and take care of my responsibilities. For so many people, writing isn't and never will be a career. It's my hobby. They don't take into consideration the hours of research, months of writing, editing, submitting, querying, critiquing, promoting, on and on that goes into writing. Let me say that I don't think most people mean anything by it. I don't think anyone is trying to be insulting, but it does bother me that what I do will never be considered a career to a lot of people.

Now, let me stress that I know how lucky I am. I have a husband who works his ass off at a job he hates so that he is able to take care of his family. I do what I love and not a day goes by that I don't think God for that, but because I love it, does that make it any less of a job? Does that make my deadlines any less real or my revisions any less a priority because I happen to enjoy it and I'm able to do my job from home? No, it doesn't.

My mom has come to stay with us recently. She's always been very supportive of what I'm doing, but she doesn't get it. I don't expect her to because I don't get what she does either. I think you have to have some experience with something to truly understand it, but I will say, seeing how much work I put into my writing has shed it in a whole new light for her. She didn't realize how much I do. How much I promote or what it means to a writer. I think it was an eye-opening experience for her and I loved that she found a new respect for what I do.

I do think there will always be people out there who will refuse to see it though. To them, writing is a hobby, it's what I do for fun and nothing more.

15 comments:

Tonya Callihan said...

It is so hard to find time for wriitng. I took almost a year off, not from writing, I still fit that in, but from my writing groups and the Internet. I didn't have time for both writing and participating online...at least I thought. Between school and work and family it was almsot impossible. But now I've realized that writing is more than a small hobby to me, it's a passion and something I'm working on making a career, so I struggle to make the time now to participate online, such as now, and writing. Even if it's ten minutes at a time I have free I use it wisely.

Karenna Colcroft said...

For me, this post is perfect timing. I had a light bulb moment a week or two ago where I realized that not only were my kids and husband acting like writing was a hobby... I WAS TOO! I felt guilty for writing instead of cleaning the house, or listening to my 12-year-old ramble for a half hour about the colors cats can see, or having a full-time "real job".

You know what I realized? Writing IS my full-time job! I write romance under this name and YA urban fantasy under a different name. I have projects in various stages of completion, consideration, and publication. I have promoting to do.

When I sat my husband and kids down and told them that I need all four of us to treat my writing like a job, they immediately supported it. Hubby helped me come up with a flexible writing schedule, and took over a couple household chores from me to free up some time. My kids each took over a couple more chores as well, and the aforementioned 12-year-old came up with a system for me to use to let them know when I'm working vs. just answering emails.

Some people still look at writing as my hobby. I don't care about that. As long as I look at it in the right way, that's the important thing.

Madison Scott said...

Tonya, that's all we can do. I'm glad you're making the time for your passion!

Madison Scott said...

Karenna, That's wonderful that your family is so supportive. My kids are a little younger and its harder for them, but I make sure to carve out my time somehow.

I'm in the same boat as you. I write romance under this name and YA under a different name as well so I have multiple projects, different kinds of blogs to check and blog on under different names, but I wouldn't have it any other way!

Tess MacKall said...

Oh yeah. This one is hitting close to home with me for sure.

The oldest had a meltdown over her NOW ex-boyfriend (I pray he's ex, been praying for months). And after having had to deal with, be supportive of her heart-wrenching issues for the umpteenth time, I admit I was only half listening. Okay, okay...one tenth listening. Heck, it was the same old same old. I have no time for that.

So she jumps up and down, starts ranting about how I never listen to her, never support her, AND...how I am always on the computer never paying any attention to anyone.

Uhhhh...just poke a bear in the damn butt, why don't ya? Oh nooooo she didn't. But yeah, she did.

All of that ended up in a row of kids on the living room sofa and a major--loud---lecture from me on their selfishness and drama queen woes that have stifled not only my creative juices but have given me headaches that Tylenol won't touch!

Needless to say, we came to an understanding. They now understand that I don't care if they don't understand.

I feel your pain, Madison. But so glad Mom realizes that you work your butt off.

Natalie Dae said...

I've veered away from thinking of it as a job lately, which is naughty and non-productive. So I must get back to it like I used to.

I'm at the same point as you, Tess, when you said: They now understand that I don't care if they don't understand.

Comes a time when you've just got to do what you want to regardless of whether anyone else "gets" it.

Judith Leger said...

Great post, Madison. I started writing in notebooks cause I didn't have a computer. When we did buy one, no one understood why or how I could sit and type and type. They didn't see any major results. Even after I was contracted with works family think it's not a full time career. But you know, doesn't matter, I love what I do. Wouldn't change a thing. So keep on doing what you love to do!

Madison Scott said...

Tess, I'm getting to the point where I don't care if people understand either. My husband really tries and most of the time he's good about it, but there are those times when I just feel like screaming.

Madison Scott said...

Natalie,
I've gone through those times when I forget to treat it like a career too.

Madison Scott said...

Judith,
Thank you! No matter what, I wouldn't change it. We're damn lucky!

Anonymous said...

I liked this post. I certainly appreciate the time and effort that writers put into their writing. It is appreciated by us readers!!!!

Valerie
in Germany

susan said...

I can relate to you as writers who work at home..I had a similar job which I did at home and all I ever heard was your hobby is so much fun. I was a tri chem instructor which many may not know of but it's tube paints and you paint clothes and many items with them including pictures.Y ou show at home parties and take orders. Every one thinks it just a hobby but there is alot of work which can also take the joy out of this hobby..Orders are easy but I have to paint items to show and every month are new things to show which means each month I paint a kit to show at parties..then it's delivery and being sure everything is right. Yes..I love this and yes it is a hobby for most but as an instructor there's also work and deadlines to meet too. I appreciate every one of you authors who works at home on your job and not your hobby. susan L.

Madison Scott said...

Thank you so much, Susan and Valerie. Sounds like you've definitely experienced this too, Susan. I think it applies with a lot of work from home.

Thanks for stopping by!

Mr. Harvie said...

I too write and have dreamed of doing it full time from home for the last decade! A bucket-list item of sorts. Not a hobby for sure...A hobby for me would be eating and sleeping, you know...not as mandatory as the keyboard. A passion that if I could make a living from it ... like winning the lottery, only winning the lottery would be boring, anyone can do that. :) http://ronharvie.blogspot.com/

Anne Rainey said...

I totally get what you're saying! It's so frustrating that most people see my job as silly. They figure I should be able to drop whatever I'm doing to do whatever they need done. The thing is, do I call them at work and say, "hey, I need you go do this right now". Of course not, that's because they're AT WORK. Well, just because my job is done from in my living room doesn't make it any less than a a job. I have a boss (editor) to answer to. I have work (manuscripts) that have to get done. I have a schedule that I adher to. Just like they do!